Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Old soldiers never die, they simply move to Miami.
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are hearing from senior citizens like Bobby Abreu and Freddy Garcia who would like to prolong their careers by playing for the Fish. One assumes they'd be willing to forgo the kind of compensation major leaguers are usually accustomed to because calling the Marlins in the first place is tantamount to admitting you're willing to take what you can get. I figure the decision-tree is something like this:
First choice: Start for a contender that will pay well.
Second choice: Start for a non-contender that will pay well.
Third: Play part time for a contender that pays well.
Fourth: Play part time for a non-contender that pays well.
Fifth: Start for a contender that doesn't pay well.
...And onwards, all the way down the ladder, until you get to...
Sixty-fifth choice: Cling to the game by your fingernails by taking anything you can get from the Marlins.
The sad thing here is that these are two players who are too old and ineffectual for the Yankees, the team that would rather play a veteran than a kid under any circumstances. From the early 70s upwards, this is a team that would have kept Joe DiMaggio at Triple-A until he was 28 or traded him to the Diamondbacks for a 40-year-old Randy Johnson. If you're old and you can't play for the Yankees, you just can't play.
You can see this looking at the Marlins' depth charts. Even though Juan Pierre is a light hitter, Justin Ruggiano is going to regress in a big way, and Giancarlo Stanton is going to be pitched around enough that he might draw 150 walks, there's just no place for Abreu to do more than pick up some pinch-hitting plate appearances, and teams don't carry pure pinch-hitters anymore. As for Garcia, the Fish have a young and unproven but talented rotation. Pitching Garcia would be counterproductive, unless you consider delaying their pitchers' arbitration clocks productive. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course they do!
H/T to Craig Calcaterra and Hardball Talk, both of which are indispensable.